House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) disavowed the QAnon conspiracy on Thursday night, speaking out against a growing trend of GOP candidates who have pledged their adherence to the far-right conspiracy as even President Donald Trump appears to be lending them his endorsement.
When asked about the emergence of Republican candidates who supported QAnon, McCarthy said he did not support the movement, which has been identified as a potential domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday night said that "there is no place for QAnon in the Republican party. I do not support it." The GOP lawmaker also took aim at the Democratic party for what he sees as failures to denounce anti-Semitic remarks. pic.twitter.com/t5F9eYRRE3
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“Let me be very clear,” McCarthy told Fox News host Shannon Bream on Thursday night. “There is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party. I do not support it.”
The comments come after President Trump on Wednesday appeared to give a nod to the baseless conspiracy which falsely claims that he is saving the world from a cult of pedophiles and cannibals.
“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said during a news conference.
Earlier this month, Trump congratulated known QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Green, as she celebrated a GOP primary win in Georgia.
The President gushed about Greene being a “future Republican Star” who is “strong on everything.”
On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sought to distance the President from the conspiracy theory in spite of his clear praise for its followers. McEnany claimed to Fox News that Trump does not support the movement, has never mentioned it and doesn’t know much about it.
Meanwhile Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse — one of the few Republicans on Capitol Hill known to criticize the President — called out Republicans who have supported QAnon-aligned candidates and failed to denounce the conspiracy.
“QAnon is nuts — and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories,” Sasse said on Thursday, adding, that if Democrats win majority in the Senate in November, “this will be a big part of why they won.”
During the Fox News interview, McCarthy also seized the opportunity to lash out at Democratic lawmakers who he said have failed to “stand up” against anti-Semitic remarks. McCarthy singled out Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI) who were widely criticized last year as anti-Semitic over their support for Palestine.